GAEL Bigirimana says his Premier League debut left him “speechless”.
And the Newcastle United midfielder’s determined to build on his impressive showing in yesterday’s 1-1 draw against Aston Villa and have a big say in the club’s season.
The teenager came on for the injured Danny Simpson late in the first half at St James’s Park.
Bigirimana, playing alongside Yohan Cabaye in central midfield, grew in confidence as the game wore on, and showed both his tenacity in the tackle and his range of passing.
The 18-year-old, signed from Coventry City in the summer, won praise from manager Alan Pardew after the game.
However, Bigirimana, determined to keep his feet on the ground, was quick to shrug off the praise.
“Everybody - the players, staff and gaffer - said I put in a good shift, and did a good job,” Bigirimana said.
“But when it looks like things are going well, you can’t dwell on them.”I just can’t wait for the next day. I don’t take the praise for myself - the team worked hard.
“They trusted me and gave me the ball. It’s a team praise. We didn’t lose, and for me it was a great debut.
“As a youngster, you dream of playing in these games - I’m speechless. I know I keep going on about being thankful to God, but my life is supernatural.
“I didn’t expect to make my debut three games into the season.
“It’s ridiculous - crazy - how things are going. I’ve been involved in most of the games, and we haven’t lost. It’s crazy - I can’t put it into words.”
Newcastle, second-best in the first half, trailed to a headed goal from Ciaran Clark at the interval, but Hatem Ben Arfa claimed what could prove a useful point with a stunning 59th-minute goal.
“It was the third game of the season, and it’s a great start,” added Burundi-born Bigirimana.
“It’s going to be a long season, and to be unbeaten in the first two home games is good.
“It’s a great foundation - the season is going to be long. Every point counts - everybody knows this is a tough league.
“We could come down to one point at the end of the season, and we got it from Villa.
“I’m just grateful we didn’t lose - we need to be unbeaten at home.”